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Chiefs vs Broncos 5 questions: How good is the KC defense?

The Chiefs may have one of the best defenses in the NFL to pair with Patrick Mahomes. Seems like a recipe to win.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The last time these two teams played, the Kansas City Chiefs toyed with the Denver Broncos.

When you beat an opponent 16 straight times, you have that luxury.

The Chiefs defense held Russell Wilson to 95 yards and the game was not as close as the score would indicate. Despite a strong effort from the Denver defense, despite the fact nobody could cover Travis Kelce.

DraftKings Sportsbook once again thinks the Broncos have no shot against KC. Denver is a touchdown underdog to the Chiefs. The total sits at 46.5. Based on the last matchup, the only way that hits is if Patrick Mahomes, Kelce and the the Kansas City offense go off, which they very well could on Sunday.

To preview Sunday’s game, we go behind enemy lines to get a feel for the Chiefs heading in Week 8 with Tom Childs from Arrowhead Pride.

MHR: What surprised you the first time these two teams met? How do you think Andy Reid and KC will adjust?

Tom: Once again, the Broncos defense had some success against Patrick Mahomes. For some reason, the Broncos defense mostly manages to keep Mahomes in check — especially in the red zone. For all of the Chiefs’ dominance in the head-to-head matchups in recent years, it has never really transferred into the stat sheet for #15. In 12 games against Denver, he averages just 1.5 passing touchdowns a game — a whole touchdown less than what he averages against the rest of the league.

The offense will look to improve their efficiency in the red zone this week. I’ve always been a believer in getting Jerrick McKinnon involved as much as possible inside the 20s. As a great pass protector and an even better option in the screen game, it makes sense in my eyes for the Chiefs to have him lined up next to or behind Mahomes as much as possible. Perhaps then the Chiefs may have some more success against Denver.

MHR: How good is the Chiefs defense?

Tom: I’m fully on board now. When we last spoke I still had some reservations about how good they actually are. Since my doubts, they have dominated Russell Wilson and smothered Justin Herbert — a quarterback who I highly rate.

In the past, the Chiefs defense has had some good units and some bad ones. This year, the Chiefs defense only has good units. Wherever you look, there is talent. Even with the long-term injury to Nick Bolton, I don’t expect there to be much of a drop-off in production. Such is the enormity of depth that Brett Veach and Steve Spagnuolo have managed to build.

Traditionally, Spanguolo’s defenses has got better as the season goes on. It’s scary to think how good this team could be come December or January time.

MHR: What will Reid, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs do differently on offense? Will they just throw the ball to Travis Kelce every play?

Tom: There was a missed opportunity last week, I’m sure you guys especially would have hated it but Travis Kelce should have broken Shannon Sharpe’s single-game receiving yards (for a tight end) record. The Chargers simply could not live with him, although they weren’t helping themselves. I mean, how many times does Brandon Staley need to be burnt by Kelce before he learns not to leave the middle of the field wide open.

Kelce and Mahomes have been asked to go up a gear this year and how have they responded!? By being their usual incredible selves. The relationship on the field between the two is getting more traction than normal on the national stage than normal. Maybe this is because Kelce is getting more attention (I wonder why), but regardless I think everyone is coming to realise that this will go down as a top 2 or 3 duo when all is said and done.

And yes, they should throw the ball to Travis every single play.

MHR: What is your best bet for Sunday’s game at DraftKings Sportsbook? Will KC cover again?

Tom: Yes, I think they will. Like a lot of Chiefs games this year, the offense has let other teams off the hook. There is an argument to be had that the Chiefs should have blown out every single opponent this season, including the Lions who they lost to.

The offense went up a gear last week and I expect it to carry through to this week. I’ve seen suggestions that the weather could be a bit off come game time with snow predicted by some. A few years ago these two teams met at a snowy Arrowhead which turned out to be one of Mahomes better performances against Denver. After that game, he shared that he finds playing in the snow easier because everything slows down for him.

One of the benefactors of Mahomes having a big day could be a guy who has struggled so far this season. Skyy Moore is in desperate need of a confidence boost and maybe that will come this week in the form of a touchdown reception. You can get him on anytime touchdown at +330. That may be worth a punt.

MHR: What are your expectations and predictions for Sunday’s game?

Tom: The Broncos’ offense cannot perform as badly as it did in Arrowhead. 95 yards passing was bad even for Wilson in Denver’s standards. The Chiefs’ defense was just on one in the first matchup, and although I would love to see a repeat of that performance, I don’t think it’ll happen.

I think the Chiefs will go up big early followed by a mini comeback by the Broncos. Once again, the Chiefs will pull away late giving the Chiefs a 10-point win. Essentially, this game will play out how last year’s game in Denver did. Only with a slightly different scoreline. Chiefs 27 Broncos 17.